What Is 'NIMBY'? What Does This Acronym Mean?

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Question: What Is 'NIMBY'? What Does This Acronym Mean?

You see the expression 'NIMBY' in a discussion forum online, and you see that the topic is a heated debate. But what exactly does NIMBY stand for?  

Answer: NIMBY, and NIMBYISM, is 'not in my back yard'. This negative expression describes the attitudes of people who vehemently oppose proposed zoning or proposed building development for reasons that are purely selfish or snobby.

Nimbies often know that the proposal has benefits to the greater public, but are unwilling to open up their neighborhood to be part of the proposal.

For example: nimbies will oppose an electrical corridor field being turned into a dog park, and they will cite false logic as their argument (e.g. 'that land is a beautification area that children should play in').

Here is a linked example of controversial NIMBY attitudes, and the massive online debate that it sparked: Habitat for Humanity will bring crime to our neighborhood

Example of NIMBY in a Facebook comment thread:

(User 1) This is ridiculous. The city is rezoning the park to be a dog park. Now we're going to have dog feces stinking up our neighborhood next summer!

(User 2) NIMBY they won't! This is asinine, and I'm going to make sure they know this. 

(User 1) What do you suggest?

(User 2) City council holds open mic every Thursday and Friday. I'm going to take the morning off work to go down there are protest. If you come along, you will also get ten minutes to use the mic.

(User 1) OK, let's do it. This dog park is such a stupid idea.

(User 2) Damn straight. And I bet Julie and Greg will join us, too!

(User 1) I could probably get Kristy and Tuan from across the street as well.

NIMBY and NIMBYISM are just some of the many acronyms and colloquialisms you will find on the Internet. As more and more people participate in online discussions, you can expect to see more of these cultural acronyms in your web browser.

Web and Texting Abbreviations: Capitalization and Punctuation 

When using text message abbreviations and chat jargon, capitalization is a non-concern. You are welcome use all uppercase (e.g. ROFL) or all lowercase (e.g. rofl), and the meaning is identical.

Avoid typing entire sentences in uppercase, though, as that means shouting in online speak.

Proper punctuation is similarly a non-concern with most text message abbreviations. For example, the abbreviation for 'Too Long, Didn't Read' can be abbreviated as TL;DR or as TLDR. Both are acceptable format, with or without punctuation.

Never use periods (dots) between your jargon letters. It would defeat the purpose of speeding up thumb typing. For example, ROFL would never be spelled R.O.F.L., and TTYL would never be spelled T.T.Y.L.

Recommended Etiquette for Using Web and Texting Jargon 

Using good judgment and knowing who your audience is will help you choose how to use jargon in your messaging. If you know the people well, and it is a personal and informal communication, then absolutely use abbreviation jargon. On the flip side, if you are just starting a friendship or professional relationship with the other person, then it is a good idea to avoid abbreviations until you have developed a relationship rapport. 

If the messaging is in a professional context at work, with management of your company, or with a customer or vendor outside your company, then avoid abbreviations altogether. Using full word spellings shows professionalism and courtesy.

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